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Wintersville officials pursue park improvements | News, Sports, Jobs

WINTERSVILLE — Improvements to local parks was a recurring subject at Thursday’s Wintersville Council meeting.

Council heard from County Commissioners Tony Morelli and Tom Graham, who announced the village had been awarded $10,000 from the commission’s recreation fund, from which it distributes money annually to various projects eyed by municipalities in the county.

Morelli said they would have liked to have provided more, but there was steep competition for about $240,000 available this year.

“I think we received requests for about twice that amount,” he said.

On Thursday, council approved a request by Mayor Mike Petrella to allocate about $2,577 to have the gazebo at the Walnut Street Park stained and the slides and swing set there power washed and repainted and about $4,800 to have the roof of the shelter near Locust Street removed and replaced.

Petrella applauded village crews and volunteers for recent efforts to refurbish local parks.

He noted Bob Coppa Jr. volunteered to power wash and repaint the gazebo at Winters Drive, while Tom Straka, the village’s code enforcement officer, installed a new flagpole and weeded the surrounding area.

He said the Tot Lot at Garden Drive has undergone a major facelift, with the addition of a gazebo and picnic tables and its basketball court resurfaced, with new hoops installed.

Petrella also thanked Coppa, his father, Bob Coppa Sr.; Bob Arnold and Councilman Randy Spence for hanging along Main Street about 60 banners honoring area military veterans.

Bearing photos of the veterans and general information about their service, the banners were launched by the village’s beautification committee. Headed by Councilwoman Gael Damron, the group also selected new, sturdy garbage receptacles and benches for areas of the village.

In related business, Councilman Jason Mattern asked if dogs continue to be an issue at the park near Locust Street.

Petrella explained that visitors to the park have complained of owners of some dogs leaving their feces behind and allowing the canines to urinate on playground equipment.

He said the pets’ owners are urged to show consideration for others and clean up after their dogs.

Village Administrator Walt Ziemba said signs have been posted to deter such behavior, but he and others have also considered adding a dog park to the area behind the municipal building being eyed for various recreational facilities.

Mattern said he would support a dog park, adding he feels it’s greatly needed.

In other businesses:

— Council approved the purchase of about $25,977 of new security cameras for the municipal building, street garage and the Walnut Street and Garden Drive parks.

Petrella said the current cameras have become outdated and the new ones will be able to capture images for longer intervals.

— Council approved the first readings of ordinances allowing delinquent water, sewer and garbage payments to be attached to residents’ biannual property tax payments. Also approved was an ordinance allowing the cost assumed by the village to mow overgrown properties to be attached as well.

Petrella said delinquent payments for the village’s water have risen somewhat, and the moves are seen as one way to ensure the village is reimbursed for the expense of providing such services.

He said residents who have difficulty paying their bills because of financial hardships should approach the city about payment plans.

— The mayor said as part of an ongoing effort to deter speeding, the Wintersville Police Department will be posting a lighted radar speed sign along various roads in the weeks ahead. He urged all motorists to obey speed limits and exercise caution for the safety of all.

— Kudos also went out to local police, firefighters and the mayor for working together to ensure the sole access road to the Orchards subdivision was cleared of a fallen tree following a storm on July 23.

Petrella said village crews also removed a large tree branch that blocked the driveway of an older couple following an earlier storm.

— Petrella lamented the recent death of Perry Pool, a village employee for more than 30 years; and the recent retirement of Bruce Snyder, a village employee for 40 years.

— Petrella congratulated Jordan Hiles, a student at Indian Creek High School, for being crowned the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference’s Queen of Queens during the conference’s recent all-star football game.

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